Poetry / September 2010 (Issue 12)


by Marco Yan

They may have permeated into branching veins.
They may have left, passing the laundry
        hung by a half-open window.
They may have stayed, trapped in the narrow space
        between the hands of the family clock.
They may have risen from the flame
        of an incense candle, burnt
        and become a billow of white smoke.
They may have fused with spirits,
        dancing away from your body.
Maybe they are just tired of respiration.

It seems futile, silly even, to sit breathing.
Still, tracing the scent of your presence, I recall
the unwanted puffs, once in your lungs,
then involuntarily let flow to night hours.
Now the swaying hangers, the air-dried sleeves,
the congealed wax, the potted violetta,
        ghosts of your exiled breaths,
        all swirl around in the living room.

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